District 11 Teachers Reach Tentative Contract Agreement
Written by Steve Ericson
Friday, April 04, 2014 02:30 PM
ANOKA, Minn. -- After 10 months of negotiations, District 11 teachers finally have a tentative agreement on a new two-year contract.
The deal was reached late Monday night after the 18th bargaining session since last July and halts a planned strike vote by teachers later this month.
Both sides made concessions on salary and healthcare. The district agreed to drop an extra step on the salary schedule for younger teachers. Instead, in the first year of the contract, all teachers would receive $1,000 in one-time money and more experienced teachers would see an additional 1.5% increase. In year two, newer teachers would see a 1.5% raise while more experienced teachers would get a 2% increase. As for healthcare, teachers agreed to a cap on health insurance contributions but are guaranteed free single coverage on one co-pay plan next year. Both sides are happy to finally have a deal.
District 11 Communications Director Mary Olson says, "We feel thrilled, we're very happy that we reached an agreement so that we're able to continue educating students without interruption."
Julie Blaha, president of teachers union says, "I think this has been particularly stressful, teachers are wondering what kind of committment the district wants to make to them. They've been more engaged, they've used a lot of their personal time to move the process along. It will be good to get that time and energy focused back on the classroom."
Teachers will vote on the tentative agreement the week of April 14th. If they accept it, the contract will go to the School Board for final ratification on April 28th.
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